Tag Archives: gluten free dessert

Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

I celebrated Thanksgiving with Mark’s family this year. With only 6 of us at the table, it was a little more subdued than my family’s usual 20 person feast. Not that a small Thanksgiving is a bad thing. We watched a lot of football, played soccer with Reggie, Mark’s Family’s dog, and I went for a nice 5.5 mile run outside. Sadly, I had to work on Black Friday, but unlike everywhere else open, work was painfully slow.

This was also the first year I had a lactose-free meal… it was a little hard to accept that my 22nd Thanksgiving would not include butter, cheese or cream. What is Thanksgiving without those things?

It actually ended up being pretty dang good… I ate a ton of Brussels sprouts, cornbread stuffing made with veggie stock and acorn squash roasted in maple syrup. AND vegan pumpkin pie with gluten free crust! (Mark’s dad is gluten free).

The condensed milk was swapped with coconut milk and thickened with agar agar instead of eggs. Agar agar is basically ground up red algae and when heated and mixed with water it becomes a gelatinous substance. Oh the wonders of biology. I picked up some agar agar and the other necessary ingredients (vegetable shortening and tapioca flour) at the local coop, in bulk.

I also picked up King Arthur’s new gluten free multi-purpose flour… It was the best gluten free flour I’ve worked with and I was supporting local! As an added bonus, it doesn’t contain xanthan gum like some other gf flours… xanthan gum can cause upset stomachs in some people.


The crust was kind of labor intensive, there are many crucial steps and some tips that I picked up from Simply Gluten Free.

  • make sure everything is cold… put ice in your water and put shortening in the freezer for 30 minutes before using it
  • use a food processor to incorporate the shortening.. it will make the crust flakier
  • skimp on the water… the dough should only stick together when pressed with your fingers
  • let the dough rest for 1/2 an hour before rolling… it lets the moisture distribute evenly
  • don’t try to roll the dough out…. extrude it by placing it between two floured sheets of wax paper.
  • use the highest quality ingredients you can afford… it really does make a difference, especially the flour

Since gluten-free baking is a tricky beast, I didn’t really stray from the original recipe. The dough had the consistency of shortbread cookie dough, and was pretty prone to cracking which can be frustrating to a perfectionist like me. I think next time I’d just buy a pre-made gluten free crust, but it was defiantly worth the experience. Plus, I wanted to use my festive little leaf cookie cutters before fall ends.

For the Crust,  from Simply Gluten Free

1/2 cup of organic vegetable shortening (I used spectrum brand)
2-4 tablespoons of water (I used 3)
1 1/4 cups of gluten free multi-purpose flour, such as King Arthur
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Follow the tips and directions here, a lot of the steps are crucial so follow it closely… it’s also a long process. Don’t start it at 9 pm like I did.

For the Pie, from the Blender, a William Sonoma Blog

1 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of maple syrup (look for kosher label to ensure its vegan, if need be)
1 can of coconut milk (14oz)
2 tablespoons of tapioca flour (found in bulk section)
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
splash of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of water
2 teaspoon of agar agar powder, (not flakes or bars, found in bulk section)

Blend together the pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut milk, tapioca flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and vanilla extract, in a large bowl and set aside.

In a sauce pot bring the 3/4 cup of water and agar agar to a boil, stirring constantly. Let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes then stir in the pumpkin mixture and return to a boil. Let thicken for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring it constantly.

Pour the mixture into the prebaked pie shell. Refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours, until set and firm. Serve chilled or at room temp.


1 Comment

Filed under Dessert

Peach, Blueberry, and Blackberry Crisp

Exciting news… this weekend Mark and I bought some pepper plants to add to our window garden. Our kitchen window faces south and has a wide sill, so I’m going to attempt to nurture these 2 pepper plants and some basil, parsley and chives. Ok, it might be hardly exciting news… but I’m feeling that a spicy thai soup might come out of these new peppers.


Not sure if you noticed but we are right in the middle of peak produce season… everything has been so fresh, delicious and RIPE. Two of my most favorite things, peaches and blueberries, are both in season, so it’s perfect time to make a crisp or cobbler out of these yummy summer fruits. Topped with an oatmeal crumble and some vanilla ice cream, this cobbler is delicious. I made some swap outs to make this treat a little more healthful. I replaced half of the butter with low fat yogurt, used a modest amount of brown sugar because the fruit was so ripe and I changed up all purpose flour for brown rice flour so Mark’s dad could enjoy some (he’s gluten free). We also got a steal on the peaches; we bought a heaping bag of overripe utility peaches for 2 dollars… 2 dollars! I think the overripe ones make the sweetest baked goods, (and as added bonus, you need less sugar). I didn’t exactly measure anything so the amounts are approximate.

 Peach, Blueberry and Blackberry Crisp

Serves 6

6-8 medium size peaches cut into ½ inch cubes, wash and scrub them good to get some of the fuzz off. Peel as much skin as you can off with your fingers, but don’t go crazy, about half of my peach skin remained on.


½ pint of blueberries

½ pint of blackberries

¼ cup of brown sugar, loosely packed, more or less to taste


1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch

1 cup of oats

¼ cup of brown sugar

1 cup of brown rice flour

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup yogurt (vanilla or plain)

Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Chop up the peaches, and add to a large bowl. Add in the blueberries and blackberries, then the ¼ cup of brown sugar and corn starch. Toss gently to coat the fruit. Pour into a greased glass baking dish (8×8). In a medium size bowl combine the remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon, it should have the texture of a loose dough or oatmeal cookie batter. Spoon the batter evenly over the top of the fruit. Bake for 20-25 min or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dessert